Hot off the wild success of Fallout 3, Bethesda has branched out from their usual RPG flare and into the third person shooter genre.
What is Wet? Mix together the femme fatal of Tomb Raider, the slow-motion effects of Max Payne, the gun play of Stranglehold, the multiplier score technique of The Club, the platforming of Prince of Persia, the silhouette filter of Killer 7, the quicktime events of God of War, and the overall plotline and atmosphere of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
You take control of Rubi, a badass revolver shooting, katana wielding chick out for money and revenge. The plotline is over the top ridiculous – taking down drug dealers, hired for headhunting, plane crashes, torture, constant swearing, metal suitcases filled with cash, monkeys…its all here.
Even though the story is absurd (in a good way), the gameplay is even more over the top. At anytime, Rubi can perform slow motion actions, like sliding, wall running or jumping, to slow down time, which makes picking off enemies that much easier. When in slow-mo mode, the game will automatically auto-target the closest enemy with one of the pistols in Rubi’s hand while the player is free to aim the other hand, making it possible to take out two enemies at once. If you take out enemies quickly, your multiplier will grow and more Style Points will be gained. At the end of each level, Style Points can be spent to unlock new abilities and harbor upgrades for all of Rubi’s weapons.
The game basically forces the player to use slow-mo effects to kill every single enemy in the game for two reasons. First, killing any bad guy without using a slow-mo effect will usually result in getting yourself killed quickly. Secondly, without slow-motion kills, you will not be able to unlock any new material. Although there are many ways to kill your enemies while in a Matrix-like slow motion, you cannot overlook this repetition. This starts to really become apparent within the few stages of game.
Level design repeats throughout the game too. After you jump a few gaps and climb a few walls, you will face off against a legion of respawning enemies. After you close the spawn points, the boss will appear. How do you know it is a boss? Because they are the grunts that always carry a gatling gun. Just about every enemy in the game repeats, including the bosses. Even the game’s cutscenes, like when Rubi takes a swig of whiskey or finishes off an enemy, repeat.
After every 3-4 stages, a cutscene will display Rubi blasting a badguy at point blank, spraying blood all over her face. This forces Rubi into a bloodlust mode where the entire game is filtered with a red silhouette overlay. Here, enemies are bountiful but easier to take out – usually only a couple pistol bullets is enough to do the trick. Although this mode is visually different, it is still the same cookie cutter combat.
Further promoting the ridiculousness that is Wet, there is no need to reload with any gun, and the player has infinite ammo for the pistols. And from time to time, the gameplay breaks off into a style of gameplay that is reminiscent of Pursuit Force on PSP with high speed vehicle jumping. But the most surprising stage in the game is when an airplane suddenly blows up and the player has to free fall, avoid debris while shooting fellow falling enemies, and grab the last remaining parachute. Definitely a highlight moment.
Set in the 1980’s, the game completes the nostalgic atmosphere by displaying the game with a scratch film filter. Although it fits the mood of the game, it really starts to become bothersome, and even a little nauseating, within the first half hour, if not sooner, of gameplay. Luckily, there is an option to remove this filter. Once turned off, I was surprised at how much better the game looked. The filter really holds back the game’s visual details of the game. Unfortunately, other graphical problems exist such as the heavily repeating animations and sometimes Rubi’s arms will rotate as if triple jointed. Rubi’s hair also has some pretty bad clipping problems as well. And if this game is supposed to take place in the 1980’s, then why are characters talking on modern day cell phones? One character even wears a Bluetooth headset.
To further fit the mood of this energy filled game, the game boasts a soundtrack filled with loud and in-your-face punk/ska tunes. Especially present during the red silhouette stages, this music was designed to make you feel the rush of combat. Unfortunately, the tracks are usually only a couple minutes long so they loop quite often and will start to put nerves on end, especially for non-fans of that type of music.
Overall, the game can be completed in well under 10 hours. To extend replay value, the developers added a trials mode that is unlocked once the main quest is completed. These mini-game like side missions include time trials, shooting galleries, and even a scorpion shooting search quest. None are very entertaining though. The main story mode also puts such a strong emphasis on getting a high score, but the complete lack of online leaderboards really make this game best suited for a weekend rental.
Although Wet is filled to the brim with repetition, I still enjoyed my short time with it. The gameplay and combat is completely ridiculous and the slow motion effects begin to get boring as the quest unfolds, but there are some cheap entertaining qualities to be had. With it short gameplay and high action, Wet will make the perfect weekend rental, especially if jacked up on Code Red Mountain Dew.
Better Than: Wetting the bed
Also Try: Stranglehold or a Slurpee brain freeze
Wait For It: The next Tarantino film